Tag Archives: SEO Tips

SEO: Tips on how to improve your search engine rankings

Search button on virtual screen pressed with fingerSo you’ve recently started your business and have been working hard to promote it. You’ve created a website because it is 2017 and without one your company wouldn’t survive for long in today’s social-mobile world.

But perhaps your website isn’t doing as well as you expected according to what you are seeing on the analytics tool you installed on your site. Traffic is flat, perhaps nearly non-existent. Why aren’t more people visiting your site? You have a great offering, and you’ve put a lot of good content on the website to get people interested in what you do.

The problem is that if people cannot FIND your site then how are they going to learn about your product or service and convert into prospects that you can close over time?

So then the real question becomes how do you improve your search ranking so people can find your site?

Focus on keywords

Keywords are one of the most important parts of a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. You have to choose the right keywords that are most relevant for your business and then you have to rank high enough for them to be found by people searching for your particular offerings. For instance, if you offer fish sitting services in Topeka, Kansas, then you may want to focus your attention on “Topeka fish sitting,” “Fish sitting in Topeka,” and “Topeka fish experts” to be found by anybody looking for a fish expert who can watch over the fish while the owner’s away on vacation.

You can also use Google Keyword Planner to help figure out which keywords are the best for your site. This free tool will show you the popularity of certain keywords so that you can choose the best ones for your website.

If you are using WordPress to manage your website there is an SEO plugin that you can use to manage your SEO efforts and assign keywords to each page. The correct placement and frequency of keywords is vital to your website’s ranking. For instance, it is important for your keyword to be in your page title. This is one of the first things people (and search engine algorithms) see when looking through search engine results. You should also include the keyword in the URL of a given web page. It is much more efficient to have a specific URL rather than a random one assigned by WordPress.

Backlinks are golden

Links are an absolutely critical component to an SEO strategy? Why? Having a large number of links pointing to your website from other websites related to your primary offering makes you look more relevant and important to Google on that topic. Think about our fish sitting example. If Fish Friends, a popular blog on all things related to fish ownership, has written a blog post about your business in Topeka that includes a link to your website, then the search engines will interpret that to mean you are a valued resource to the topic of fish ownership and fish collectors.

To get other sites to link to you, you may try submit your blogs as guest posts or contact websites directly asking if they are interested in sharing your links (also known as link building). The more of these backlinks you can get, the better your chances are of rising in the organic search engine rankings.

[Note, however, that it is important that the links are from a credible source because Google will disregard any links coming from non-related sites, such as link farms or other sketchy sites.]

Don’t ignore internal links

Internal links are also important because it allows you to easily use your own site to your advantage. You can add links to previous content you have written that is relevant to what you are writing about now. You can also redirect them to your homepage or your other important pages (e.g., ones that you are trying to rank higher on).

Create good content

In the SEO world, content means written text. When writing blogs, you should create smart, sharable content that also includes your necessary keywords with no more than around a 2% keyword density (i.e., 2% of all words in a blog post can be the keywords which you are optimizing). If you’re not sure about the density, just read the whole text on the webpage and if it seems like there’s a lot of keywords, there’s a good chance the search engines will think so too. Fortunately, many WordPress SEO plug-ins (Yoast comes to mind) will let you know when your page is well optimized. Whatever you do, avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ your webpage as most search engines will flag you for it, which will in turn suppress your organic search rankings.

Keep your site current

This may seem like a no brainer, but make sure your website is current, full of fairly fresh content. If your website has been sitting without any significant updates then the search engines will assume you’re site is DOA. Instead, make sure to keep your site updated and full of relevant information to your products/services. You can do this by blogging weekly and putting deep links to other webpages on your website.

Index your site

Lastly, make sure your site has been indexed! Most of the time your site will be indexed by search engines automatically, however sometimes this may not be the case. Indexing is when search engines keep record of your site. There are many different ways to index your site. For help on the many ways to do so, check out this article.

Improving your search ranking is vital to growing your business. Follow these tips to help optimize your search rank, so that you are able to hold up to your competitors.

About Lauren Usrey: Lauren is a student at the University of Texas at Austin and a marketing communications intern at Manzer Communications. She supports clients with social media, blogging and tech PR activities. Manzer Communications has offices in Austin, Denver and Houston and provides digital marketing and PR services for tech companies seeking rapid, sustained growth. Some of the services provided include content marketing, social media strategy and ad buys, email marketing, and media relations.

 

How to use PR to protect your online reputation

Businesses of all types and sizes may, from time to time, receive a negative review from an irate customer. There are even services that attack a company’s reputation and then snags a page 1 placement on search engines as part of an elaborate scheme to sell you online reputation management services. (It’s a subtle but effective form of extortion.)

With search engines becoming so critical to a company’s brand and lead generation, you can’t simply ignore a damning, perhaps even malicious, comment without fear of negative consequences.

Since PR dwells in the domain of brand management, we thought it appropriate to give you a few tips on how to repair your business’ reputation without resorting to paying online bribes or expensive reputation services.

Online Reputation Tip #1: If it’s a genuine mistake on your business’ part, then don’t deny the reality. PR is about improving your image by taking the high road where and when possible. It’s far better to work behind the scenes with an angry client to resolve the complaint and then get him or her to voluntarily remove it. Consider doing something extraordinary to make amends, as it might get the customer to sing your praise in social media and you might have a future story to share with the media.

Online Reputation Tip #2: One way to deal with a negative comment online is to push it down with blog posts. If your business has a blog, then consider addressing negative comments with a post about how you have a customer service team ready to help resolve customer concerns or negative experiences. Also, look for guest blogging opportunities in order to get backlinks to your website, which will effectively drown a negative comment with informative links.

Online Reputation Tip #3: Press releases are another way to get positive backlinks to your website, while improving your search engine rankings as part of an overall SEO strategy. Consider writing 1-2 press releases monthly and distributing them on various press release distribution platforms (PRLeap, PRWeb, PRLog.org). Keep your releases focused on newsworthy topics, like recent product / service introductions, new hires, company milestones, etc. Also, avoid stuffing the press releases with keywords as Google may actually penalize you for pursuing an overly aggressive SEO strategy.

Online Reputation Tip #4: Pursuing an effective PR strategy that results in publicity in local (even national) media outlets is another great way to dissipate the effect of negative online reviews and burnish your brand image for the world to admire. Brainstorm with your marketing team, or consider bringing a PR agency or contractor, to come up with some unique ideas that will interest reporters from local print dailies, TV newsrooms and online publications and blogs. Praise in the press is one of the best ways to outshine a vicious online reputation attack.

Online Reputation Tip #5: Any positive news you intend to share with the media can also be shared in social media. Tooting your own horn is always something you should do with caution – nobody loves a braggart, after all. But if your social media posts are couched in fairly honest language (i.e., no exaggerations) and you can get others to chime in on the topic, then you should let your network know how you are helping customers, doing cool things, setting records, paying it forward, etc.

Got any suggestions based on your past experience? Please share them with us below!

About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded an Austin tech PR agency for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009. In 2010, Dave launched PR over Coffee to provide small business PR advice so that entrepreneurs and startups could practice “DIY” PR and promote themselves directly to media outlets. For more information about Dave or PR over Coffee, email info(@)PRoverCoffee.com.

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